Tip & How-To about Plumbing
You may or may not have heard about these cool little devices by now, but if not, here is the low down.
Tankless water heaters are used all across Europe and come in several varieties.
1. Natural gas fired on demand Tankless
2. Oil Fired Tankless
3. Electrical Tankless
The most prevalent among these is the gas fired version.
In America, these energy savers are just starting to gain a foothold.
Leaders in the field are Titan, Bosch, Rinnai, and Noritz to name a few.
The real benefit to Tankless over Standard water heaters is that you never waste energy heating water that sits in a tank cooling until you use it.
If you have a 20 to 80 gallon water in your home, it will run night and day at odd internals maintaining it's own heat.
What this means to you is that in a typical day, whether you use hot water that day or not, is that your water heater will cycle many times to maintain it's heat whether the hot water is used or not.
Some people try to drive this wasted energy use down by wrapping their water heater with thermal blankets, or by insulating the water heater closet itself, which has only proven to be partially effective.
Also bear in mind that these Tankless water heaters are quite small compared to the Tank version, some are as small as 18 by 12 inches.
This means that your old water heater closet can now be used to store your valuables without fear of starting a fire.
A further waste of energy occurs when the exhaust heat is funneled to the outside when it could have been diverted to a heat exchanger or other energy conservation device.
Tankless water heaters perform far better in energy use than the old school, Tank type water heater by simply heating water exactly when it is needed, then shutting down when the hot water tap is turned off.
What this means for you, the consumer is that you will have hot water any time you need it, and the water will remain hot as long as the hot water tap is opened.
There are virtually no cold water periods for a tankless water heater.
You have an endless stream of hot water, without wasting a single BTU of heat, kilowatt of electricity, or ounce of natural gas.
The real surprise here is that nobody really knows just how much their utility bill is being affected by that Tank style water heater until the first utility bill arrives. The savings are immediate and significant, both in terms of less energy consumption and Dollars saved.
Let me drive that point home in real life terms.
You definitely will NOT use MORE energy after your install.
You will most Certainly use less!
There are several typical applications for Tankless systems in any common home.
1. Low Volume On Demand heaters can be installed under the sink.
2. High Volume Tankless Whole House heaters supply the entire home.
3. On demand Budget Tankless heaters can be located at the sink coupled with whole house heaters for faster hot water delivery to eliminate cold spots. These are the most popular for the beginner Tankless solutions.
Your cold water pipe is split from the cold water valve itself to the Tankless heater under the sink as well as the cold water tap. The hot water outlet is then connected to the Tankless water heater under the sink to provide instant hot water, eliminating the need for a hot water tap from the main hot water supply. This results in even less energy waste since the smaller Tankless heater uses less energy than a whole house Tankless unit.
4. On demand Tankless heaters use virtually no energy to heat unused water. When the hot water tap is off, the Tankless unit is off.
The price point for these Tankless models is fairly competitive against a standard water heater, but can sometimes be more expensive depending on the model and water volume you require. What matters most though is that these Tankless versions begin paying for themselves the day they are installed.
My final word on this is simple.
Most other countries in the world have been using tankless water heaters for a very long time due to natural gas and oil prices. Their adoption of these devices is a necessity rather than a purchase of convenience.
In terms of technology, America falls close to last place in this field, as well as many other areas where energy consumption is a factor.
When you purchase a Tankless water heater, you not only save money, but you also help the environment by wasting less energy to heat the same amount of water you consume on a per use basis. You will also use somewhat less water since you no longer have to wait for that cold water to leave the tap so the hot water will finally flow.
The choice is yours.
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Posted by Bob Sloan on
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